Premises Awards 2017

DORKING Chamber Premises Awards

Over the last 3/4 years  over 60 Dorking retail shopping area premises have moved into new ownership+ had a name change and been refurbished or extended.

In recognition of these changes, Dorking Chamber commissioned images of all such premises, reviewed them with other leading Dorking players, and at our AGM on 29 March 2017 we gave out awards to those who had made the most positive contributions to the town under the categories of

The Best New Business Shop Front, 

The Best Re-furbished or Extended Shop Front, and Five Special Awards.


Best New Business Award – primarily related to the changes to the external facade – although internal layout and decor may have been considered.

WINNER – Darren James Bye – For the quality refurbishment of the facade and creative use of text and colour branding to encourage footfall to what was a dark hidden site.

RUNNER UP – Waitrose –The South Street facade adds a whole new dimension to the street. The shop front is less overpowering than might be expected because it splits the facade into a series of smaller slices.

RUNNER UP – Dorking Butchery – The main shop front and branding is simple and stylish, and the traditional use of “butchers” tiles and counters create a suitable background to show off their often eye-catching displays.

Highly Commended  – Schmidt – A  simple and stylish shop front

Highly Commended – La Boutique Jaune – It is difficult to do something creative with a listed frontage but the original use of colour and signage helps the shop stand out. Highly Commended – No 5 Interiors  – They used the green tiles at low level, to advantage painting the surrounds to match. Highly Commended – Victorias Little Bra Shop  – The owners considered their tiny 3 storey site and made a spacious display of their wares using their windows to best advantage and a small “Victoria” in the facia helped to make it look larger.

Best Refurbished or extended Shopfront

For businesses who have  refurbished to make their premises considerably better.

WINNER – Friths Pharmacy – for a consistent and elegant branded design that linked together two smaller shops.

RUNNER UP – Shrewd – for an external redecoration that recognised that it is the whole shop exterior that people look at – not just the shop window! Highly Commended – The Red Bar and Lounge – For external changes in paintwork and signage, plus changes to lighting and the addition of unique artworks throughout the lounge are.

Highly Commended – The Old House – For having the imagination to install the beach huts in a town so far from the sea. Dorking Special Awards  – for Experiential Service – 5 WINNERS

WINNER  – Dorking Butchery – For bringing people into the town and offering a consistently high quality of service and display within the store. WINNER  – Waitrose – For maintaining a high quality of service throughout the South Street Store, with consistent quality of product and equally high customer service.

WINNER – Pepe’s Cafe –  Pepe’s Cafe being a good example of how continually looking at how to improve your premises and respond to the needs of your customers, will have a positive impact on sales.

WINNER  – The Old House – For the time and money the Old House have spend on  their exemplary flower displays on the West Street side of their  building.

WINNER  – Friends of Dorking  – Originally an offshoot of the Chamber. The friends are an established group of volunteers who care about the town and collect thousands of pounds to ensure that Dorking has flowers, Christmas lights and events like the Dorking Easter Egg Hunt.